The Merchant of Dreams (Night's Masque #2)
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The Merchant of Dreams (Night's Masque #2)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet Coby Hendricks for the past year.

But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.

When Mal’s dream about...more
ebook, 371 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2012)
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Raina {The LUV'NV}
Impressed with the first installment of the series, I picked up The Merchant of Dreams with high hopes and was a bit disappointed. Though Anne Lyle captured Venice with stellar description and feeling, the plot and main relationship and character development fell to the wayside—for me, at least.

The Merchant of Dreams picks up a year after The Alchemist of Souls, with Mal and Coby following his dream of a skrayling shipwreck, only for them to discover a massacre of skraylings. They sail to Kiiren...more
The Merchant of Dreams is the second book of The Night's Masque. Lyle's debut The Alchemist of Souls is one of my top ten debuts of 2012, so I was very excited to be able to crack open or rather tap open my eARC of The Merchant of Dreams to return to her alternate Tudor England and see how the story would continue. In The Merchant of Dreams Lyle deepens her world, allows us to travel to foreign parts, and develops her characters further in unexpected but wonderful ways.

We rejoin Mal and Coby as...more
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews the second entry in the Night’s Masque historical fantasy series by new author Anne Lyle.

“Full of vitality and some spectacular sequences, Merchant of Dreams is simply fantastic.“ ~The Founding Fields

When I reviewed Anne’s first novel in this series, Alchemist of Souls, I said at the end that it was a fantastic novel and that I hoped she would deliver on the sequel just as well as...more
First published on Radiant Attack - read as an ARC copy

The Merchant of Dreams is the second book in the Night's Masque series by Anne Lyle. While I didn't read the first novel, I though the premise sounded interesting. Set in Elizabethan times, a group of spies investigate a skrayling delegation to Venice. The skraylings are the native people of Vinland, who have a mysterious spiritual connection between the dream world and reality. Not quite human, they are continuously reincarnated on death. T...more
Bane of Kings
“This may be one of the best historical fiction/fantasy novels of 2012. Venice, Pirates, Skraylings, politics and some epic action scenes in sixteenth century Europe make sure that The Merchant of Dreams is a worthy successor to The Alchemist of Souls.” ~The Founding Fields

When I read The Alchemist of Souls earlier this year, by Anne Lyle –I was thoroughly impressed, and was left wondering how she would top that jaw-dropping first instalment. Well, as it turns out, The Merchant of Dreams is not...more
I'd like to say I liked this more than the first (The Alchemist of Souls), and I did, but did it gain a fourth star? You know, I don't know if - for me - I can truthfully say I "really liked it".

I like quite a lot of the elements of Lyle's books. I like her approach to gender and sexuality, I like her subtle shifting of an established world, I like some of the things she does in this book. But I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed the actual story, because frankly, I don't. I didn't have a clue where...more
bouncing between 4 and 5 stars in fact...

Lye has to my delight managed to not only deliver on my hopes for this book but has exceeded them!
The world building is absolutely flawless just like in the first book, and the characters are even better.
There are many subtle nuances and depths that have been added to the characters we got to meet in the alchemist of souls. In fact while I love the world building I adore the characters she created. I really care for them and wanna know what will...more
Shane Cormier
AWESOME. IM GLAD TO SEE ITS OUT BECAUSE IM GOING BUY IT NEXT WEEKEND. CANT WAIT TO FINISH THIS STORY. ANd I see you are no longer writing anymore for now of this series. Well i sure hope it doesnt leave you hanging too much. Will definitely check out Prince of Lies as well. If its anywhere close to as good as this series , Im sure I will enjoy it as well. Would love to get an autographed copy of this one but ah well.
V.C. Linde
As with the first book, this is absolutely excellent. Well paced and with brilliant levels of detail. Different setting but mostly the same core characters as book one. Cannot wait to read more!
Sara Knight
The second book of The Night's Masque, I thought this was a tremendously well-written story. Magic, mystery & romance - it has it all.
I’ve been mulling over this review for a while now, and I’m still a bit stumped and unsure how to keep it from being really short.
Let’s get the basics out of the way: I liked it, though not quite as much as I liked the first book in this trilogy. It was well-written, it read smoothly and there was not a moment where I felt bored and thought ‘yeah yeah, just get on with it already’.
The plot is a bit convoluted. We learned in the first book (spoilers!) that the mysterious beings called skraylings...more
Fran Jacobs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leo Elijah Cristea
The Merchant of Dreams, by Anne Lyle—Night’s Masque #2—is an example of pure storytelling. Rich and well-paced, the second instalment of the series builds on the foundation of The Alchemist of Souls and completely avoids “middle-book syndrome” by becoming a solid middle point for the series, setting a high bar and allowing only for things to get better.

Often, what makes a book is a mixture of two elements, perfectly and chemically arranged on a page as suits the author’s style and tastes. Charac...more
I felt a little let down with this sequel to The Alchemist of Souls. All the characters I liked were back but the story seemed to be lost in all the running around they did.

I never felt any character development from them, Mal was the hero that turned into a lech that can't keep his sword sheathed. Coby built a life for herself yet constrains herself by only going about as a man instead of playing both male and female roles in her spy life & then, oops, a plot hole opens up and she can sudde...more
Joanne Hall
“The Alchemist of Souls” was one of my favourite reads last year, and “The Merchant of Dreams” is the not-very-long awaited follow-up, the middle volume of a trilogy due to end with “The Prince of Lies” in November this year.

Mal and Coby have fled to Mal’s estates in France, but Mal is haunted by dreams and visions from the fragment of skrayling soul trapped within him. The skraylings, creatures from the New World, can re-incarnate into different bodies. But the soul that has re-incarnated into...more
The Merchant of Dreams starts out with a scene that could have come from one of the best thriller movies - all haunting atmosphere and trepidation - and digs its hooks in deep. Set a year or two after the events of The Alchemist of Souls, this second book in the Night’s Masque series is a worthy successor to it. At over 500 pages, I still managed to finish the book roughly three days after I started it.

Court intrigue and battles abound as Mal Catlyn and his page - the cross-dressing (by necessit...more
Ben Babcock
I had little but praise for The Alchemist of Souls , the first adventure of Mal Catlyn and Coby Hendricks in an alternative Elizabethan England. Anne Lyle had a keen eye for characterization and an ability to weave a tight, dramatic story that held my attention and left me wanting more. So more’s the pity that The Merchant of Dreams was quite a different experience!

This sequel picks up a little while after the first book, with Mal and Coby living in France while the fallout from their actions in...more
OK, not as demanding a read as The Alchemist of Souls; but I decided to rate and tag this one anyway. :) There were too many situations which didn't actually fit in with what was going on at the time; too much blind acceptance by most of the characters; and a fairly choppy storyline which hopped all over the place sometimes.

Still not sure what the author is hoping to achieve with this: still unsure of the Sandy/Erishen raisen d'etre and how/why it affects Mal; bringing older brother Charles int...more
Erica Wagner
I read the Alchemist of Souls around Christmastime, so I was glad I didn't have to wait long for the sequel. There were a few surprises with regards to the timing, as it didn't take up immediately after the first one left off, but it worked well for me. I'll try to do this without spoilers, so the review will be a bit more general.

The only real complaint I had about it was that the start was, perhaps, a bit slow. I was all right with this, because it added some details re characterization and wo...more
I'm in the middle of writing at the moment, which generally means my own reading suffers as I can't comfortably read fiction when I'm writing different fiction, however a trip to London and back gave me eight hours as a pasenger in the car and I'm afraid I was antisocial enough to seize on the opportunity to read The Merchant of Dreams.

The second installment of Mal Catlyn's adventures, beginning about a year after the events in Alchemist of Souls. Mal finds a party of skraylings in the Mediterra...more

There has been a rift with the skraylings over the presence of renegade skraylings who have deliberately reincarnated in humans in England. Rumour has it that skrayling vessels have been spotted in the eastern Mediterranean in increasing numbers, fuelling suspicions of dealings with Venice. Mal is instructed to travel to Venice forthwith to find out if these suspicions are true and, if they are, to break up this new alliance by any means necessary...


"Whether you like action, magic, roma

Pre-release/ARC review.

“You’re afraid of me, aren’t you?”

“No,” Ned replied, glancing around the kitchen in the hope of spotting a handy weapon. The carving knife was still on the table, and the fire irons out of reach on the hearth.

“Yes you are.”

“All right, yes, dammit.” Ned straightened up, putting as much distance between them as he could without actually retreating. “Now say what you have to say and be done with it.”

“Good. We understand one another. So understand this.” Sandy leant clos...more
Tammy Sparks
3 1/2 Stars. This beautifully written story, the second in the series, was ultimately very frustrating for me to read, mostly due to the fact that I did not read The Alchemist of Souls first. I did not realize this was a second book when I requested it from NetGalley, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have asked for it (and that is entirely my fault, I did not read the description carefully enough – lesson learned!). While it has vivid historical details and an abundance of atmosphere, it was hard f...more
I'm not going to repeat the Goodreads summary of this book.

Talk about betrayal.

I was looking forward to this second book of the trilogy, but now I'm not sure I like how some of the characters are developing. Mal makes some very dodgy decisions in this book and agrees to others that don't quite fit with what we know about his character. In particular, one betrayal and one decision are quite spectacular and his reasoning for both of these things didn't really work for me at all.

At least the betray...more
c2012: FWFTB: treason, twin, skrayling, Venice, loyalties. The number of betrayals in this book is quite staggering not least of which is the betrayal by the main man, Mal Catlyn. It didn't sit well with me at all but I suppose that is all part of the good and evil in all people. I do wish there had either been a Dramatis Personae or a What Had Gone Before. I did remember some of it but I had to resort to the internet to start to get my bearings. It seemed to lag for me about two thirds of the w...more
Okay, I was gonna say something about Venice's hygiene issues but I can also say the same thing at every other civilization in the world without proper hygienic practices. So, anyway, my demand for more fantastical stuff was granted in this sequel. I especially liked it when Gabriel's and Sandy's characters were expanded. Out of the relationships featured in the series I like Gabriel and Ned's relationship the most; in my opinion, it was written better than Mal and Coby's, where there was a disc...more
Its been a few months since the events of The Alchemist of Souls and Mal Catlyn (along with companion Coby) are drawn back into the plot when they learn of a Skrayling plan to break England's monopoly on their business / trade. A few chapters later all of the main characters are (briefly) back together before the story settles into two parallel plots - both of which involve travel to Venice.

Once again the author has created an interesting plot and engaging characters - in particular I was impres...more
Dave Hart
Having read the first novel in the trilogy and enjoying its pace, setting, intrigue and themes I feel quite let down by the second installment. The plot having several holes and direction changes that characters seem to blindly accept. The setting of venice was nice change but it just didnt interest me enough.

As someone who craves detail and well thought out storylines this just seemed a bit too thrown together for my tastes. The plot jumping about and quite often leaving out descriptions of whe...more
I finished _The Merchant of Dreams_, book two of Anne Lyle's Night Mask trilogy, and the sequel to _The Alchemist of Souls_. The series continues to be a wonderful exposure too what life in Europe during the reign of Queen Victoria might have been like...if the new world had been populated with a different species too powerful for the European powers to simply bowl over. Those powers, only partially glimpsed in the first book, where explored more fully in the second, which I enjoyed.

My biggest...more
JJ DeBenedictis
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, which had a fresh-feeling setting, cool premise, and which was long, yet had a dense and twisty-turny plot I totally loved.

This book gets there, eventually, but it really felt as if nothing important happened until all the characters had arrived in Venice, which was over 200 pages into the novel. I also found it hard to emotionally relate to the characters, which happened to me with the first book also, although I didn't mind it then because I foun...more
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Anne Lyle was born in what is popularly known as “Robin Hood Country”, and grew up fascinated by English history, folklore, and swashbuckling heroes. Unfortunately there was little demand in 1970s Nottinghamshire for diminutive swordswomen, so she studied sensible subjects like science and languages instead.

It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t...more
More about Anne Lyle...
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque, #3) The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder, and Evolution Unexpected Journeys

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